I was sitting in my office chair late Saturday night, a grin on my face having just finished this week’s restaurant review somewhat early. As I was getting ready to file it, however, I got a hurried text from Patrick that went something along the lines of “These gas stations are big news, kid! Get me a review of Casey’s General Store by Tuesday!”
While I had never heard of Casey’s General Store before, my girlfriend swore we had passed a handful on our way to Louisville. Either way, apparently a few are opening in the Metro, with one on the outskirts of Moore—the closest to me, at least at the time of this writing.
Driving out there that Sunday afternoon though, it was a punch to the ol’ breadbasket when we saw the bulldozers out front, taking up space in a parking lot filled with mounds of dirt and concrete. It was still under construction, so our next bet was the one at 8000 W. Wilshire, somewhere around the Warr Acres area.
(If that one wasn’t open, maybe Patrick would take a substitute review of 7-Eleven’s new Capitol City Burrito Co…)
Thank the Lord that this Casey’s General Store was open—and only four days old. As the smell of fresh horse manure seeped in from the pasture behind us, the place was about as bumping as a new convenience store possibly could be, with plenty of excitable consumers taking part in this grand opening, their supple hands filled with pizzas and doughnuts and other snacks.
With a fresh-faced team of cashiers ready at the helm, the smallish lines were moving quickly and things seemed to be running smooth enough. We effortlessly made our way to the back of the store where Casey’s open kitchen sat, a cadre of cooks (?) making a wide variety of junk food for the bloated Warr Acres masses.
Noting the surprisingly diverse menu, my girlfriend instinctually ordered a small Taco Specialty Pizza ($12.29). While I was aiming for one of their cheeseburgers; sadly, they were all out of hamburger meat (!), so I instead got the Hot Sausage Sandwich ($3.79) and the heat-lamped Bacon and Cheese Wedge Fries ($3.69).
I probably should have picked up a roll of Tums while I was at it. (Tum-tuh-tum-tum-tuuuuums!)
My Hot Sausage Sandwich seemed like a joke at first, and a mostly unfunny one; basically it was a small hoagie roll, split open and sullied with melted cheese and a few bits of sausage that obviously went on their pizzas. They were complimented—in the worst way possible—by the gummy potato wedges and their plasticine cheese that solidified in and on the box.
The Taco Specialty Pizza was a strange development that, despite the inflated price, made the trip out there mostly worth it. With a thick crust that seemed more like Indigenous frybread than pizza dough, the mixture of toppings like refried beans, taco meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese and about half a bag of crushed Doritos, definitely made it a more likable meal.
Still, as I sat there among the tables along the hallway wall next to the bathrooms, my Hot Sausage Sandwich in front of me with only a few bites, I decided on a sweet treat from the doughnut case; one of Casey’s Cinnamon Rolls ($2.49) should do it. Even with the frosted glaze that delicately coated the top, the pastry was still dry, and uncomfortably so. Maybe I should have gotten a brownie instead?
You know, Casey’s might be a decent place for roadside snacks during a cross-country pit-stop—the gas is pretty cheap—but for an everyday lunch in the big bad city, for the most part, it’s really just the pits.